Master a Video Interview in 7 Easy Steps

Tempted to spread your wings and move to another city or country? But you want job security before you take the leap? A Video interview, using software like Skype, allows potential employers and employees to ‘meet’ face-to-face before taking that plunge.

It’s never been easier to dip your toe into the vast pool of global job opportunities. But don’t assume these video calls are exactly like traditional interviews — they need a different technique and approach. Master these video interview tips to cast your job-seeking net around the world!

1. Make Sure Your Account Looks Professional

You created a sensible email address for job applications because your personal email is your childhood nickname. But how do you present yourself on the internet to potential employers?

Does your Skype profile and username make you look polished or a party animal? Is your profile picture a credible photo of you, or of your cat? Consider creating another Skype profile for interviews that presents you in the best professional light.

2. Check That Your Laptop Will Survive a Video Interview

Do you call your partner, coworker or neighbour if your computer as much as hiccups? You can’t rely on them if the screen freezes during an interview for your dream job.

Browse the help section of the video interview software you’re using and check the audio quality with a test call. Can you trust your laptop to get through the interview without wheezing and crashing? If your equipment is on its last legs, consider upgrading or borrowing a better one for the big call.

3. Dress Code: Smart and Professional

Even though you won’t be in the same room as the interviewer, you should still dress to impress. Keep it smart from head-to-toe in case you have to get up for any reason.

Make sure the background of the video interview will look as smart as you. Record a practice call in the same room as the interview and examine the result. Is there a pile of laundry visible behind you? Is the lighting suitable or is your face in shadow? This is a good chance to iron out any issues ahead of time.

4. Pick the Right Time to Skype

It’s essential that you are undisturbed and as centred as possible during the video interview. Are mornings at your house chaotic or is your neighbour having noisy building work done?

Pick a time of day when you’re home alone and can Skype in relative peace and quiet. If you can’t make it work with your potential employer’s schedule, look for a quiet space outside your home — perhaps a friend or family member’s house, or a conference room.

5. Do a Dry Run

Practice makes perfect when getting used to video calls with potential employers. Ask a friend to do a practice Skype interview with you and encourage them to be critical. Do your answers sound natural or do you seem uncomfortable? How is your body language? Then you can work on any issues before you take the call.

6. Maintain Eye Contact During the Video Call

Just because you aren’t in the same room as your interviewer doesn’t mean you can dispense with eye contact. Many people have their CV up on screen during their video interviews — their eyes may flit between the interviewer and the text onscreen, making them look unfocused. Maintaining eye contact throughout will show that you are fully engaged and interested.

7. Go with the Flow

You’ve done all your homework but something still goes wrong — your children burst into the room (remember that BBC reporter?) or your laptop freezes momentarily. Don’t panic! Hiccups are a part of life and keeping your cool will show your interviewer that you can handle these blips with good grace. Just apologise and move on.

Over to You

Video Interviews are becoming more popular with companies keen to pare down their candidate list without having to meet face-to-face. And if you don’t live in the same city or country as the recruiter, a Skype call is a low-cost way to get to know each other before travelling to a face-to-face meeting. Master the video interview and you’ll be well on your way to your ideal job.


Originally published at yvonnereilly.com on February 18, 2019.